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A day-by-day guide to our Critic's Choices and other previews

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DEL THA FUNKEE HOMOSAPIEN The follow-up to Del's 2000 album, Both Sides of the Brain, still isn't quite finished, but that's not to say he's been slaving over it all this time--for the past six years his attention's been diverted in plenty of other directions. He's put out one record with Deltron 3030 (a sci-fi supergroup starring Dan the Automator and Kid Koala) and two with his crew, Hieroglyphics, including 2003's Full Circle; he's also made scads of cameos, including a hit-making appearance on Gorillaz' 2001 tune "Clint Eastwood." The new solo disc, The 11th Hour, was due this summer and is now scheduled for release sometime in 2007, but a making-of DVD is inexplicably already out. You can see a four-minute trailer at Google Video--it turns up on the first page of results if you search for "homosapien." Mike Relm, Psalm One, Bukue One, and A-Plus open. a 9 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-478-4408 or 866-468-3401, $20, 18+. --J. Niimi

double door halloween bash The premise here is simple: why should concertgoers have all the fun on Halloween while the poor musicians labor onstage as their mundane, everyday selves? Since starting ten years ago, this party has pulled in an impressive variety of talent to play cover band for a night. This year it expands to two evenings, though the choices of bands being covered are a little uninspired: the Beatles, the Stones, Pink Floyd--snooze. But May or May Not as Daft Punk (tonight) and Blackbox as Hole (tomorrow night) are interesting conceits. See listings for a full rundown of who's playing, and as whom. See also Saturday. a 8 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-3160 or 312-559-1212, $12. --Monica Kendrick

cbob dylan With his latest album, Modern Times (Columbia), Bob Dylan continues a trend he started with 1997's Time Out of Mind--taking blues, country, and early-20th-century pop tunes and reshaping them to fit his own cranky, oblique, and deeply personal mold. Like Time Out of Mind and 2001's Love and Theft, the new album is an unfussy affair that translates the loose, improvisational vibe of his live shows to the studio, and he continues to liberally draw from others for inspiration. All the tunes are credited to Dylan, but he borrows licks and lines from Muddy Waters, Civil War-era poet Henry Timrod, and others; even the cover photo has been used before, on Luna's Hedgehog EP. But pointing out the provenance of each detail is useless--Dylan assimilates everything so completely it hardly matters. His band on Modern Times sounds a little too polite, but that won't be a problem onstage. See also Saturday. Kings of Leon open. a 7:30 PM, Sears Centre, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates, 888-732-7784, $37-$77. A --Peter Margasak

cgang gang dance The sky's always yellow around Gang Gang Dance--even when their vaguely mystical music veers dangerously close to hippie drum-circle nonsense, violence is brewing close at hand. The New York quartet's latest album, last year's Hillulah (Social Registry), could be the sound track to a momentous and dreadful trek, maybe to meet a holy recluse or get crucified. Liz Bougatsos processes her wounded, wondering vocals with distortion, turning them into a sort of exhausted, delirious sickbed wail. And the songs always seem to be taking a turn for the worse: plastic-bucket busker's drums accelerate into a bass-heavy flutter like a muffled death-metal blastbeat, or lonely sonar pings dilate into possessed warning sirens. Eventually all the little snatches of instrumental strangeness get funneled into a tornado of noise, with bits of keyboards or drums spilling out of it and smashing to the earth--and then out of nowhere the whole thing clicks over into a disco track. Of course, Hillulah is edited down from a heap of live material recorded in 2003 and 2004, so it doesn't give much clue as to what Gang Gang Dance will sound like here and now--they're consistently weird, though, so there's basically no risk you'll be bored. The band might also be selling advance copies of their artsy DVD, Retina Riddim, which is due early next year. Dogme 95 and Andor Destructor open. a 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10. --Liz Armstrong

gnomes This local quartet is celebrating the release of its second full-length, the self-released Gnomes II. "Whiskey Is Misery" is part of a long tradition of wry, bitter drinking songs like Tom Waits's "The Piano Has Been Drinking" and the Jazz Butcher's "Partytime," with a bit of glass-swinging sway a la "Piano Man," and its bright and slippery guitar interplay sounds like the work of seasoned jammers who instinctually know how to sound loose in the knees--like the Replacements did before they started actually stumbling. Big Buildings headline and Woosley Band opens. a 10 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433, $8. --Monica Kendrick

jamie lidell British electronica producer Jamie Lidell, a member of the duo Super Collider, reinvented himself in a big way last year with Multiply (Warp), unveiling the persona of a full-fledged soul testifier a la Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone, or Prince. Relegating electronics and digital treatments to the background, Lidell belts out feel-good lyrics in his best Motown/Memphis delivery (which is pretty damn good) over fatback drums and buoyant bass guitar lines and adds vintage touches in spots, like the slinky funk guitar and horn bleats on "Newme." The album was followed earlier this year by Multiply Additions (Warp), a collection of remixes by the likes of Luke Vibert, Herbert, and Four Tet, along with a few live tracks recorded with a full band. Kate Simko spins before Lidell's set. a 11 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $16, 18+. --J. Niimi

page france No slight meant to Page France, but I think the underground's new embrace of decidedly nonsecular bands has less to do with quality (or Sufjan Stevens) than with sheer novelty. Not an "Oh, what a neat song about Luke 3:4" novelty--it's more that since discerning indie dudes and punks tend to think that Christianity equals fundamentalism and megachurches, songs with tambourines and nerd girls meeting cute with salvation seem quaint and safe. On last year's Hello, Dear Wind (recently reissued by Suicide Squeeze), this Baltimore quintet sings about Jesus the way most bands sing about girls--your love saved my life, I love you forever, you fixed my broken heart. It's an ecclesiastical kind of romance. Anathallo headlines and Ben & Bruno open. a 10 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $10, 18+. --Jessica Hopper

xiu xiu If I first came across Jamie Stewart's lyrics on paper there's not a chance in hell I'd ever want to hear Xiu Xiu's records. On the new The Air Force (5RC) he deals once again with incestuous molestation and other favored nightmarish themes; calling this stuff grim is putting it lightly. Luckily, Stewart has become a master of setting his psychodramas to immaculately arranged music that rises and falls in heart-racing bursts, seemingly governed by its own unpredictable, very human-feeling impulses. The new album was coproduced by Greg Saunier of Deerhoof, who helps Xiu Xiu get the most from a palette of pretty melodies, harrowingly raw acoustic textures, and jarring electronics that collide with both. Congs for Brum, Dirty Projectors, and Renee-Louise Carafice open. a 8 PM, Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie, 773-252-6179 or 866-468-3401, $12. A --Peter Margasak

edwin colon zayas Jibaro is the country music of Puerto Rico: its rhythmic, rustic style was developed in the rural parts of the island, and its stripped-down instrumentation is dominated by the cuatro, an acoustic guitar with four sets of doubled strings. Yomo Toro introduced the cuatro to New York's bustling salsa scene and is probably the instrument's best-known contemporary player, but when it comes to jibaro Edwin Colon Zayas is the go-to guy. His live band includes musicians on acoustic guitar, congas, bongos, and guiro (scraper), but Zayas's cuatro takes center stage, and his ultramelodic, rhythmically complex playing has a jazzlike fluidity, balancing technique and restraint. He headlines the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance's eighth annual Puerto Rican Cuatro Festival. Modesto Nieves Fuentes, Christian Nieves Maldonado, Angel Luis Torruellas, and Music Express & the Chicago Cuatro Orchestra open. a 7:30 PM, Auditorium Theatre, Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress, 773-342-8865, $25-$75. A --Peter Margasak


ad astra per aspera This Kansas five-piece will definitely appeal to fans of side-project-happy San Diegan Rob Crow and the playful, Zappa-meets-Beatles-meets-Minor Threat hyper-prog he brought in bands like Heavy Vegetable and Thingy. On AAPA's full-length debut, Catapult Calypso (Sonic Unyon), they sound as if the floor of their rehearsal space is littered with empty Jolt cans, Zotz wrappers, and Ren & Stimpy DVDs. They're great with spazoid, Blood Brothers-ish freak-outs like the opening track, "Voodoo Economics," but they're also handy with hooky vocal melodies and backup harmonies, as on "Post-Scarcity Sing-a-Long." Those moments of relative lucidity help keep the album from becoming an ADHD fest. a 3 PM, Permanent Records, 1914 W. Chicago, 773-278-1744. F A --J. Niimi

beatallica A really good joke has a way of becoming better with repetition (ask Sacha Baron Cohen), and Beatallica's metalloid manglings of Beatles songs enter the realm of the sublime if you spend enough time with them. One alone won't do it, and neither will two--you have to take in their collective oeuvre (conveniently available for free at beatallica.org) to truly admire their ability to ride that fine line between clever and stupid like a master surfer on a tsunami. The Gruesomes headline and Decapitado opens. a 10 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 or 800-594-8499, $8 in advance, $10 at the door. --Monica Kendrick

DETHOLZ! The great thing about these locals is that they can be appreciated on so many levels--as zany party-at-ground-zero retro new wavers, as religious and political culture jammers, as rock 'n' roll performance artists so self-indulgent they come all the way back around to fun again. And the new self-released Cast Out Devils adds another layer: a deep, deep vein of spookiness. Tonight's release party for Devils doubles as the band's seventh annual "Jukebox of the Dead" Halloween bash--which means lots of transcendentally snarky 80s covers ("Sussudio," "Like a Virgin," "Hot for Teacher"). Head of Femur and Red Chamber open. a 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10 in advance, $12 at the door. --Monica Kendrick

double door halloween bash See Friday. Local H headlines as an unannounced band; opening are the Last Vegas as Skid Row, Colombian Local Pike as the Rolling Stones, Million Yen as the Eagles, Dogs of Ness as Pink Floyd, the Hushdrops as the Beatles, and Blackbox as Hole. a 8 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-3160 or 312-559-1212, $12.

cbob dylan See Friday. Kings of Leon open. a 7:30 PM, Sears Centre, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates, 888-732-7784, $37-$77. A

cMADLIB, PEANUT BUTTER WOLF Over the last decade Stones Throw has become one of hip-hop's most reliable imprints, achieving success without resorting to distasteful mainstream maneuvers and gradually expanding its scope to include weird, old-school-influenced soul and funk. That sensibility comes from label founder peanut butter wolf, a producer and DJ too busy digging deep into his voluminous record collection to bother with flashy turntable tricks. He's celebrating the label's ten-year anniversary with the release of Chrome Children, a new 18-track compilation (coproduced with the Adult Swim network) that features no less than six contributions from producer and sometime-MC Madlib, Stones Throw's other driving force. Madlib's bread and butter may be obscure soul, but much like PBW, he can feel the funk in anything. The 35 tracks on his recent Beat Konducta Vol. 1-2, billed as "movie scenes," are fragmented collages of far-flung samples--film dialogue, Fender Rhodes riffs, harp arpeggios, easy-listening strings--held together by tightly coiled beats and rubbery synth lines. The cuts are more like sketches than tunes, but they capture Madlib's aesthetic perfectly. Veteran MC Percee P and Beat Junkie turntablist J. Rocc also perform as part of this label showcase. a 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, 18+, $20. --Peter Margasak

cnegativland These symbiotic pranksters--progenitors of a thousand laptop-owning sample freaks, mash-up artists, and pomo manifesteers--just celebrated their 25th anniversary. They've remained cunningly below the radar during that time--their infamous early-90s legal battle with U2 and Island Records demonstrated the risk of flying above it without stealth technology--but have never had much of a lapse in productivity. Their latest, It's All in Your Head FM, is a double-disc collection of live recordings from their current stage show, which they're bringing to town as part of Chicago Public Radio's Third Coast International Audio Festival. Much of the performance is drawn from the group's long-running radio series, Over the Edge, including the bits that relate to Dr. Oslo Norway of One World Advertising, who tries to use his public platform to prove that there is no God--all for the sake of ratings. a 10 PM, Lakeshore Theater, 3175 N. Broadway, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $15. A --Monica Kendrick

cnew music chicago: sonic impact New Music Chicago is bringing together 17 of the city's new-music ensembles for this unprecedented two-day festival of contemporary music at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The opening concert will start with an introduction by Mark-Anthony Turnage, one of two new composers in residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, followed by performances of Paul Oehlers's Juggernaut for solo cello, Kirsten Broberg's Increscence for violin and piano, and the world premiere of George Flynn's virtuosic and at times jazzy Flamboyance for flute and piano. And Amy Dissanayake will play Levante, a work for solo piano by Osvaldo Goliijov, the other CSO composer in residence. Other highlights of the day include the always remarkable Eighth Blackbird and the Chicago premieres of works by Joseph Schwantner and Gordon Beeferman. Among the performing groups are Fulcrum Point with the Indiana Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, members of Maverick, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. This will be an amazing opportunity to hear an enormous range of new music, and at least half of the composers will attend. See also Sunday; a complete festival schedule can be found on page 42 in the listings. a 3 PM, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, 312-397-4010; tickets for the first program each day are $15, subsequent programs are $5 or free. --Barbara Yaross


steve miller band The super-tricked-out 30th-anniversary edition of Steve Miller's 1976 classic Fly Like an Eagle comes with a two-hour DVD that includes some present-day live footage, and in it Miller is backed by a nearly complete set of boogie-band-lifer stereotypes: the guy dressed like a pirate, the guy in the beret wearing tons of jewelry, the young Turk in the Hawaiian shirt, etc. Miller himself looks like he's stopped off to play some licks while en route to Home Depot, but he's undeniably still got it. a 8 PM, Star Plaza Theatre, I-65 & U.S. 30, Merrillville, Indiana, 773-734-7266 or 312-559-1212, $47-$67. A --Jessica Hopper

cMOMBASA MUSICAL PARTY Here's an improbable second chance in as many months to hear African taraab music performed live. At the World Music Festival in September the sprawling Culture Musical Club made its U.S. debut, showcasing Zanzibar taraab, a thrilling Arabic-sounding strain dominated by majestic strings. Taraab from Mombasa, a large Kenyan island city on the Indian Ocean, has a different sound--more stripped-down and finely detailed--and the four members of Mombasa Musical Party playing here are all revered veterans of the style. Singer Zuhura Swaleh gained great prominence in the 70s, when she helped introduce the wedding-dance form ngoma into the taraab mix. Her voice is limited in range but remarkably agile, combining rich melodic ornamentation and nonchalant soul. The band is led by Mohamed Adio Shigoo, who doubles on harmonium (Indian music is a strong regional influence) and taishokoto, essentially an electrified banjo-autoharp hybrid. He headed a group in the 70s called the Zein Musical Party--heard this spring on the excellent comp Zanzibara 2: Golden Years of Mombasa Taraab (Buda)--and was later a key member of the Maulidi Musical Party, which backed Swaleh on the gorgeous Jino La Pembe (Globestyle, 1992). A recent track by tonight's players on The Rough Guide to the Music of Kenya (World Music Network) proves they're still on top of their game. The Royal Drummers of Burundi, who play that distinctive traditional beat once ripped off by Bow Wow Wow, coheadline and perform second. a 3 PM, Orchestra Hall, Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, 312-294-3000 or 800-223-7114, $20-$60. --Peter Margasak

cnew music chicago: SOnic impact Highlights of today's program include the world premiere of a work by Seth Boustead, performed by Accessible Contemporary Music and the Chicago Chamber Choir. Other performers include DePaul University's Jupiter Trio, MAVerick, Cube, Hard Art Groop, Dal Niente, and Music for a While. There will also be a roundtable discussion with Mark-Anthony Turnage. See Saturday; for a complete festival schedule see page 42 in the listings. a 11 AM, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, 312-397-4010; tickets for the first program each day are $15, subsequent programs are $5 or free.

the tyde Darren Rademaker, front man of the Tyde, sounds a bit defensive on "Brock Landers," a track from the band's latest, Three's Co. (Rough Trade): "To the pastiche police / Jealousy will get you nowhere," he sings, his thin, Lloyd Cole-ish voice quavering over a shambling Teenage Fanclub groove. Maybe he's gotten paranoid about the criticism the Tyde's received for recycling the work of underground pop-rock touchstones like Felt and Galaxie 500--not to mention the flak he caught for ripping off Dinosaur Jr with his first band, Further--but admitting to the thievery is hardly the way to make the charges disappear. The Black Angels headline and Daughters of the Sun open. a 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10. --Peter Margasak

WHITE WHALE White Whale arose out of the touring band that former Butterglory singer Matt Suggs assembled in 2003 to support his second solo album, and now includes members of the Kansas group Thee Higher Burning Fire as well as Rob Pope, ex-bassist of the Get Up Kids. Much as Butterglory was always pegged as a Pavement rip-off, the songs on White Whale's debut, WWI (Merge), pilfer most of their ideas from this decade's indie-rock zeitgeist--the band's like a less playful Decemberists, or the Arcade Fire without their dramatic concision. Their eerie cover of a Rodd Keith song-poem is an original touch, though. Hot IQs and Moxie Motive open. a 9 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 or 800-594-8499, $8. --J. Niimi


cblood brothers, celebration This Seattle five-piece came up on the proggier end of screamo, a style of emo hardcore characterized by throat-shredding vocals, bad hairstyles, and the capacity to provoke scorn from nearly every listener over legal drinking age. But after releasing their third full-length, Burn, Piano Island, Burn--which may have been the genre's peak--the Blood Brothers decided to reinvent themselves, combining glam's prissy swagger and no wave's aggro noise on 2004's Crimes. They're pushing forward on the new Young Machetes (V2)--if the songs on Crimes were refined, these are epic--but also reaching back, playing with the same self-immolating energy they had when they were wrecking it in all-ages clubs. I know a lot of people who have Pink Floyd and the Locust in their record collections, but I can't think of anyone who's tried to play them both at once.

Also on the bill is Baltimore's Celebration, another band that mashes up the theatrical and the guttural to create something highly weird. On the trio's self-titled debut (4AD), Katrina Ford--the guest vocalist on TV on the Radio's "Staring at the Sun" who was widely mistaken for Karen O--yelps and moans through a set of sinister art-rock that could only sound better when played live on Halloween.

...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead headlines, Brothers and Sisters open. a 6 PM, House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn, 312-923-2000 or 312-559-1212, $17.50 in advance, $18.50 at the door. A --Miles Raymer

ctaylor eigsti trio Though he only just turned 22, pianist Taylor Eigsti can almost pass as a jazz veteran. His latest CD, Lucky to Be Me (Concord), is his fifth release, and on it he does what veterans do: tries out different material and new approaches that refresh what has already become a distinctive instrumental voice. The album features all-star sidemen as well as a sympatico guest soloist (the even younger guitarist Justin Lage, from Gary Burton's quartet), and it captures Eigsti engaging with a horn section for the first time. Eigsti has a crisp, muscular technique, which electrifies fast tempos and funk grooves, and a sure approach to dynamics, which makes his ballad work remarkably mature. And on familiar material he displays a lively imagination--his arrangements of Coltrane's "Giant Steps" and Eddie Harris's "Freedom Jazz Dance" on Lucky to Be Me stand out among the dozens of precedents, and his reharmonization of "Darn That Dream" shrouds the song in a dark, Chopin-esque mist. He'll be backed by drummer Jody Giachello and bassist John Shifflett. See also Wednesday and Thursday; the trio's run continues through November 5. a 8 and 10 PM, Jazz Showcase, 59 W. Grand, 312-670-2473, $20. --Neil Tesser

ctwo ton boa When a band follows a promising start with a long stretch of total silence, it's not always clear whether it's fallen straight into an abyss--maybe it's just trying to let the buzz grow. Two Ton Boa, a two-bassist quartet founded by singer-songwriter Sherry Fraser, released a much lauded debut EP in 2000--Fraser's darkly intimate cabaret vocals and playfully grim narratives attracted plenty of comparisons to Polly Jean Harvey and Siouxsie Sioux, and I heard a bit of Rasputina and Jarboe in there as well. Then, nothing. Fraser says the band's disappearance was due in part to her crippling struggle with bipolar disorder, and that's borne out in the swirling unpleasantness of the group's long, long-awaited full-length,the new Parasiticide (Kill Rock Stars). Fraser toys with the new depths of abjectness a la Karen Finley even as she plays the wry narrator, and along with fellow bassist Brian Sparhawk (formerly of Fitz of Depression) she churns up dark, slimy shapes from the primordial muck. Crush Kill Destroy and the Lepers open. a 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $8. --Monica Kendrick


ctaylor eigsti trio See Tuesday. a 8 and 10 PM, Jazz Showcase, 59 W. Grand, 312-670-2473, $20.

cstuart staples Music writers like to compare every deep-voiced poet of despair to Leonard Cohen, but it's not a cliche when it comes to Tindersticks front man Stuart Staples: on "The Path," a track from his new solo album, Leaving Songs (Beggars Banquet), the resemblance is just plain uncanny, right down to the way Gina Foster's wispy backing vocals enter at a climactic moment, as if to admonish him with their purity. Elsewhere the dour Englishman, who recorded most of the album in Nashville with Lambchop's Mark Nevers, turns the creaky ghost ship of his voice in a soulward direction, propelling it with slightly locomotive rhythms, skeletal horns, and duets with the likes of Maria McKee and Lhasa de Sela. (The album also comes packaged with Staples's 2005 solo debut, previously unreleased in the U.S.) For this show he'll be backed by a five-piece band that includes two of his Tindersticks compatriots, guitarist Neil Fraser and keyboardist David Boulter. Sally Timms & Jon Langford open. a 9 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-478-4408 or 866-468-3401, $20. --Monica Kendrick


ctaylor eigsti trio See Tuesday. a 8 and 10 PM, Jazz Showcase, 59 W. Grand, 312-670-2473, $20.

gil mantera's party dream This synth-pop duo from Youngston, Ohio, is probably best known for its onstage antics--GMPD gigs reliably involve plenty of masks, sweat, spilled beer, and prosecutable vocoder abuse, and the boys just generally comport themselves as though basic human dignity were the single greatest impediment to having a good time. But the band's most recent CD, last year's Bloodsongs (Audio Eagle, distributed by Fat Possum), proves they've got solid and infectious tunes underneath all the nonsense. This show is a release party for two magazines, The Drama and Ladies & Gentlemen; the latest issue of the latter includes a 12-inch vinyl compilation with songs by Akron/Family, the Dirty Three, the Coctails, and more. Grand Buffet and Royce open. a 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10. --Monica Kendrick

justice Judging from the stark, comic-booky cathedral imagery on the cover of Justice's Waters of Nazareth EP (Ed Banger/Vice), you'd think they were hipster rockers pretending to be pimply metalheads. But no, they're actually Parisian club rats pretending to be pit-stained punks. They make roaring, mucked-up techno that's super farty and delicious--perfect for fist pumping and ass grinding and definitely the kind of slick, dirtbag-approved, tattoos-'n'-tits bullshit I know I should resist for the sake of my rep as a music snob. But I can't. I put all six tracks in my iPod after one listen. Opening are former Jerkstore proprietor Johnny Love (who moved to LA a couple months ago), the Booster, Lance Milk, and H1N1. a 10 PM, Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-4140 or 312-559-1212, $10. --Liz Armstrong

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